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Hedge funds circle Scottish & Southern

Guardian Unlimited – Hedge funds are buying into power supplier Scottish & Southern Energy in hopes of a bid for the company, currently valued at over £12bn.

The latest fund to have bought shares is Centaurus, headed by Frenchman Bernard Oppetit, who is understood to have made millions via a recent investment in British Energy.

It caused a splash in the UK in 2006 when it blocked a bid for engineering company Amec from private equity group Texas Pacific on the grounds that it was too low.

Centaurus has been joined at SSE by other hedge funds such as Lansdowne, GLG and Odey Asset Management.

Oppetit is known in the City as a canny investor and has built up Centaurus into a £5bn fund after leaving BNP Paribas, where he was head of proprietary trading. On its website, Centaurus says: ‘We develop a close and constructive ongoing dialogue with the executives of the companies that we invest in, and focus on achieving an in-depth fundamental understanding of their businesses.’

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